For some time now I have been slowly becoming what I am not. I have tried to let this process happen and not force it. I have gotten into nature and tried to give up holding onto the parts of my identity that seemed to hate happy people.
If your paid attention to this blog at all you have seen that I am becoming more and more natural in all aspects of my life while at the same time trying to learn the science behind why nature works so well with us.
A person that intuitively gets into nature is not necessarily conscious of it in the way I am as I have gone through the hard process of learning to love it. At the same time the intuitively natural person can spend their time playing instead of learning. I don't see one as better than the other only different. Much like a musical person verses someone who learns music. I know a few rare people that have figured out how to be in the flow of life within themselves. Of coarse me wanting to understand them with my mind is a tell that I am not an intuitive person, at least not yet. It takes about ten years of repetition for a thing to become mastered (meaning it essentially becomes an extension of you and your nervous system) So I'm currently 37 and have a list of things that when I'm 47 I hope to not be thinking about because I'll be too busy playing.
So hiking, yes I fought it for a long time. I went to the gym, I did an elliptical machine (a rat on a wheel as my friend calls it) living in one of the most beautiful places I would go indoors under blue light and go no where and it cost me money to do so. Impressive.
I felt compelled to go hiking a few weeks ago and had a great time with a friend. I then decided to go by myself. These are early morning hikes.
Lesson 1- The solution to darkness is not more light ( or fake light)
I got up to try to watch the sun rise so it was very dark. At first I used my light on my phone but then I shut it off. After a minute or two the sky lit up with stars, the moon shined so bright and the city glowed with its own type of beauty. Letting my eyes adjust was the key. I have been thinking about that idea a lot in other aspects of life.
Lesson 2- What goes up must come down
There is a profound difference between going somewhere with a purpose. Climbing up, putting in effort to get there. In this case it was to collect the first rays of the sun with my eyes and then come back changed. The hike up and down the mountain was a heroes journey. Very different than an ellipse machine. The cycle of the hike was a deep teaching about life and its processes.
Lesson 3- Natural light first hing in the morning is powerful
My focus with health has been light and time. Morning light calibrates the brain for all the functions that the body needs to do. Guess what the lights at the gym do. they tell your body the wrong time. They ruin the chances of you being healthy even if you get skinnier. People focused on nutrition and hormones don't realize that those things are in you but your clocks are set to the wrong time so they show up when the doors are locked and then can't do the job. If the time clock is broken eventually no one shows up for work.
This is why light matters far more than people know.
Lesson 4- Each step is a mini problem with a solution built into it
I realized how much brain power was required to navigate the hike. Each step has its own set of challenges. Why step on this rock and not the next one? But because of the climbing pace you don't have enough time to really think. Optimal is sometimes any rock that keeps you moving forward.
This type of learning can't take place on a tred mill as the brain can basically shut off and go into repetition, no problems and in turn no solutions. I am learning that mini problems are the key to health in all its aspects.
I could keep going but these 4 points are ideas that have been profound enough for me to try to implement them into every aspect of my life.
I will continue to hike and learn and grow and change. Its taken me 37 years to set up the game, learn the rules and now I can play.
I am so grateful for the people in my life that teach me so many things and have so much patience with me. My teachers, my guides, my friends.
Rob Alexander is on a journey to learn not just about health but everything else.
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